Communing With Nature

Communing With Nature
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Wishing Wall
I grew up in a coastal town thatis home to my all-time favorite museum of modern art, Louisiana. Here thefamous artist Olafur Eliasson's Riverbed installation is currently on display,which is essentially a riverbed moved indoors minus the associated living ecosystem. I have only seen a picture of it, an interesting concept for sure, andif I was in the vicinity I would certainly go and see it. Yetthere is something eerie, even clinical about this installation and Ido not just mean the lifeless dark rocks against the white walls but rather thisidea that we have to bring nature inside in order for us to fully appreciate its beauty.
On that note, I recently listenedto marine biologist Tierney Thys talk at TED about the healing power of nature.Although her application and findings are absolutely fascinating, such as exposingprison inmates to natural imagery resulting in a reduction of prison violence,I was not at all surprised. Nature, the ocean specifically, has always been mypersonal emotional edge remover, closely followed by hugging my son and with darkchocolate as a daily executed plan B. So after a particularly taxing workweek, yielding nothing but shoulder tension and emotional fatigue, I had an inherent need to commune with nature and what better place thanthe Pacific Ocean.
Following a day of traditional beach bumming and boarding,we got up at the crack of dawn to hit our favorite tide pools at their lowest; avast landscape of beautifully shaped rocks teeming with life and soundlandscapes. We hiked to a nearby alcove as myson was fired up about a hidden cave and also wanted me to use the wishingwall. I was most intrigued... a wishing wall? We arrived and my son asked me topick up a handful of pebbles and shake them in my hand until only oneremained. That one, he declared, was myspecial pebble. I was then instructed to walk over to a striking rock wall fullof tiny little holes. My son went on to explain that if I placed my specialpebble in one of those holes and made a wish it would come true. So I did andfor once I wished for something personal and very tangible, something that isnot open to interpretation. I will tell you about it when it comes true.
We frolicked in the tide poolsmost of the day while the seals watched us with great curiosity and the water came back in. I bumped into a local couple who told me theycame daily to look for whales as the hot weather and bountiful anchovy schoolshad lured them into the area off season. I relayed this information to myfamily while we hiked out and literally as my son responded that he wished hewould see a whale... we saw one; spout spray, big tail splash and all. Absolutelydivine! With that my equilibrium was more than fully restored and I will not need chocolate for days!
"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put inorder."

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